Fallacy: Copyright is a “right.”
“Human rights originate in Nature, thus, rights cannot be granted via political charter, because that implies that rights are legally revocable, hence, would be privileges”
— from Wikipedia’s ‘The Rights of Man’ by Thomas Paine page
Copyright is actually a monopoly privilege granted by the state.
What we today recognize as copyright dates back to the 18th Century Statute of Anne.
“[Copyright] was granted by Queen Anne in her statute of 1709 for the ulterior benefit of the crown and its Stationers’ Company, so that the de facto printing monopolies established by the guild during its control of the press could become law.
The Stationers’ Company resumed enjoyment of its lucrative monopolies and effective control of the press.
The crown resumed its ability to quell sedition via indirect control of the consequently beholden press.”
— Crosbie Fitch, Questioning Copyright
Originally copyright applied only to the written word. Over the centuries the monopoly of copyright has been extended to cover photographs, music, music, movies and even performances in countries all over the world.
Although the right to copy was vested in the author, the reality is that authors lacked the means to actually make and distribute copies. The only way for authors to benefit was to deal with the true beneficiary of this privilege, the publishers and distributors.
That remains true today.
[This is the first in my C-11 Copyright Series. Canada’s majority government is poised to pass Bill C-11, the co-called “Copyright Modernization Act” in spite of unprecedented Canadian opposition. The tragedy is most Canadians are unaware of copyright issues and don’t yet realize the growing impact it exerts over our daily lives.]
- Copyright: Fallacy #1
- Copyright: Fallacy #2
- Copyright: Fallacy #3
- Copyright: Fallacy #4
- Copyright: Fallacy #5
“Canadian Copyright” Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) by laurelrusswurm
“The Statute of Anne” is in the public domain, scan found at the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law